At any rate, he was an adept at the pilot wheel of a car, though inclined to be a reckless driver; just as he was also a daring air voyager, taking desperate chances that promised to bring him to grief one of these days.
Backing the car swiftly around, he sped away. Sandy Hollingshead, who had not once moved from his seat, or uttered a single word all the time, turned his head to look back; and Andy thought he too scowled darkly, as though stirred by unpleasant thoughts; but in another minute they had vanished around the bend far along the pike, and the Chief alone was seen, whipping up his nag, in the endeavor to get back as speedily as possible to Headquarters.
“Well, of all things, don’t this just take the cake?” remarked Andy, when he and his cousin once more found themselves alone beside the motionless aeroplane, that nestled like a great bird on the grass close to the road.
“It certainly looks as though we might be in for a little more excitement,” replied Frank; “but what seemed to make you chuckle so much, Andy? You must have noticed something that escaped my attention, because I was busy thinking of other things. Suppose you open up, and tell me?”
“I was tickled half to death to see how Percy tried to walk, as if nothing was the matter with him, when all the time he couldn’t keep from limping; because, don’t you see, one or several of those bird-shot Felix scattered around last night, must have stung him about the legs. That’s why he scowled so at me, Frank!”
THE AIR SCOUTS
Frank laughed a little, himself, when he heard his cousin say this.
“I give you credit for getting one on me there, Andy,” he declared.
“Then you believe I hit the right nail on the head, do you, Frank?”
“Well,” remarked the other, “come to think of it, Percy did have a little limp; and I guess he tried to hide it the best he could, for I remember seeing him wince several times. But how about Sandy, who never tried to get out of the car once, and didn’t even open his lips to say a single word?”
“I bet you he got a double dose, and is pretty sore this morning.” Andy went on. “You seemed to think it was kind of hard lines for Felix to give ’em a load when they were pretty far off, and just climbing over that fence; but it tickles me every time I think of it. Seemed like the whole bunch just fell over after he shot; and like as not each fellow got his share of the Number Eights somewhere in his legs. But how about this job the Chief asked us to engineer, Frank? Are we going to start off on that little spin up the lake; and d’ye guess we could get a pointer about where the two thieves have gone?”
“We might try, anyhow; no harm in that,” was his cousin’s reply, as he turned once more toward the hydroplane that lay near by.